Two men in Indiana charged with assault of Black man on July 4
Two white men in Indiana were charged with assault on Friday for allegedly attacking a Black man in the woods on July 4.
Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Erika Oliphant said that Jerry Edward Cox, 38, and Sean Purdy, 44, have been charged with assault, among other charges each in the alleged attack on Vauhxx Booker, 36. The alleged attack took place in proximity to Lake Monroe, just south of Bloomington, Ind.
On his Facebook account, Booker said that during the alleged incident, Cox and Purdy told the people who they were with to “get a noose.” Booker continued, saying that he was attacked by five white men “who literally threatened to lynch me.”
Purdy reportedly told investigators that he had told Booker that he was on private land around Lake Monroe and that Booker punched him.
“Indiana law allows citizens to make arrests of people punching other people on private property, and to use reasonable force in doing so. Indiana also has a broad self-defense statute,” Mark Kamish, Purdy’s attorney said in a statement Saturday, according to NBC News. “We would welcome a jury trial next week so the stigma of false and wrongful accusations can be exposed.”
State investigators concluded in their report that Cox, Purdy and Booker were all guilty of a crime, explaining that Booker could be charged with misdemeanor battery and trespassing. Purdy was charged with three felonies while Cox was charged with two felonies and a pair misdemeanor charges.
The FBI is conducting a separate investigation of the incident, according to The New York Times.
Arrest warrants have been issued for both Cox and Purdy, but it’s unclear if they have been taken into custody yet.
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